I never met her but once when we were in Church in St Merryn in Cornwall she came to an ordinary Sunday service, sat as I recall towards the back with no fuss and no press. So I'm pretty sure she had a sincere Christian faith.
My mother, on another occasion when she was down (she would holiday in Constantine Bay which is the next bay from our family house) sent her a note to invite her to come and enjoy the view from our house - which is, due to it's location, the best view in the entire system of bays. Maggie sent a really nice hand-written note back.
I'm old enough to remember what it was like pre-Maggie and she turned round the psyche of inevitable decline. My late father was very unsure about the Falkland War at the beginning since he was concerned that the Russians might intervene. But that went well for all parties - in that the Argentine Junta fell.
I also recall one genuine Thatcher joke - her first interview as PM on TV was by Brian Walden, a failed Labour politician who became quite a serious TV interviewer. He put it to her that, even if her reforms worked economically, they would be undesirable because they would encourage inequality. Her response was, as I recall, "But I think it's fine that people should be paid according to their abilities an experience. For example, I don't expect to be paid as much money as you are, Mr Walden".
PS Paul Krugman accepts that Britain was turned round. He plots UK UK GDP per capita vs France
|From Prof Krugman's blog post.|